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Different Stories of Elderly Neglect and Abuse

Elderly Neglect and Abuse
In recent years, there has been an alarming increase in the number of elderly people who are being neglected or abused by their family members. These cases are usually the result of financial difficulties, drug addiction, mental illness, and intellectual disability. However, the most common reason for elder abuse is a lack of understanding about how to take care of older people.

Elderly people are the most vulnerable group of any population. They have high rates of physical and mental impairment, low socio-economic status, and a greater likelihood of living alone or in poverty. They also have reduced access to resources and services that make them more likely to be physically abused or neglected by family members or others who have caregiving responsibilities for them.

What is Elder Abuse?

Elder Abuse occurs when someone uses violence or intimidation against an older person to gain an inappropriate advantage over them. Abusive situations can include:

  1. Physical violence – hitting, kicking, shaking, pushing, etc.;
  2. Sexual abuse – touching a person’s private parts without consent;
  3. Neglect – failing to provide essential needs such as food, clothing, or shelter;
  4. Exploitation – taking advantage of an older person for financial gain;
  5. Intimidation – making threats about harming themselves or others if the older person does not do what they want them to do;
  6. Isolation – keeping an older person from socializing with others against their will; and/or isolating them by restricting their use of phones, email, and the internet.

Often, elderly patients are neglected and abused by their families or those assigned to care for them. In some cases, the weight of the role/duty of having to take care of one’s parents can become overwhelming and lead to frustration and/or guilt. Which many times leads to families neglect or abuse their patients.

The elderly are also at risk for financial exploitation, especially when they are no longer able to care for their finances. Because of this, some elderly people may give away their assets in exchange for help. Lastly, they may also be targets of crime because they are less likely to report suspicious activities than young adults or teenagers.

The following are real stories from elderly people who experience Neglect and Abandonment:

1st Story

Abandonment by Adult Daughter

Juliette, 87, has lived with her daughter, Nanette, for 3 years. Juliette needed Nanette’s help with daily activities, such as getting her meals, bathing, and cleaning the house. Nanette moved in with her boyfriend in another state and left her mother alone. Approximately a week later, Juliette’s niece stopped by to visit her aunt while she was in town. A very bad condition was evident inside the house, and Juliette was very ill. Her niece contacted Adult Protective Services (APS) and the State Area Agency on Aging.

2nd Story

Neglect by Sons

Clarence, 79, welcomed his two adult sons to move in with him after his wife passed away. Clarence was soon sent out to live in the shed and locked out of the house by his sons. It is sometimes his sons who put food out for him. Sometimes they gave him a basin of cold water with a washcloth. A neighbor of Clarence noticed that Clarence was living in the shed and anonymously reported the situation to Adult Protective Services (APS). To ensure Clarence’s welfare, she called the police in order to determine whether he needed immediate assistance.

The following are real stories from elderly people who experience Physical Abuse:

3rd Story

Physical Abuse by Adult Grandsons

Katherine, 82, raised Joel and Kent, her two grandsons. Since they were teenagers, they had physically abused her. Joel returned to his grandmother’s home after 12 years in prison, as he had nowhere else to go. When Joel arrived home one night, he was drunk. Joel banged on the door, but Katherine told him to leave. When Joel entered the house through the back window, he beat his grandmother. When Katherine saw the situation, she called 911 from the neighbor’s house. As a result, Joel was arrested and Katherine was transported to the hospital. In response, the police called Adult Protective Services (APS).

4th Story

Physical Abuse by Spouse

With 58 years of marriage still behind them, Virgil and Ella were both 83 years old and well acquainted with one another’s habits. Physical violence sometimes resulted from their arguments. However, they said they were in love and had never considered divorce. Violence, unfortunately, was part of their relationship. With age, Ella developed osteoporosis. Her concern was that if she fell down during a fight/argument with her spouse, she might end up with a broken bone. After confiding in a friend, she was suggested to call a local domestic violence hotline for assistance.


When you think about it, the elderly are vulnerable. They have experienced the loss of loved ones, have seen their children grow up and move on, and some may even be suffering from mental illness or physical disabilities.

The best way to protect your loved one is to get them an elderly caretaker. The caregiver will be there to take care of them and make sure that they get the medical attention that they need as well as provide emotional support for them.

If you suspect someone is abusing or neglecting your loved one, then seek out assistance from law enforcement officials immediately so that you can prevent further harm from occurring to your loved one.

There are many different types of elder caretakers out there today; some are trained professionals while others are simply people who want to help their neighbor in need. It’s important for you to find someone who is qualified enough so that they can take care of your loved one while also being able to interact with them on a daily basis and not just during emergencies.

We must protect those who no longer can speak for themselves.

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